Tell us how various types of debts are handled in the probate process.

During the probate process, once you have basically accumulated all the property, one of the things that you’ve accumulated is the negative property, or the debts. There is a process in Texas called a claims process where you give notice to certain creditors. And it depends on whether they are secured creditors, unsecured creditors. And even being secured, you can have written agreements, oral agreements, whatever. It depends on what type of debts and the facts having to do with the debts.

And then you can go through a process whereby you’re asking people to make certain claims, you’re asking secured creditors to make certain elections. When all that is done, you decide which debts am I going to pay. And then there’s yet another process. There’s a level one all the way down to level eight. Level one are some of the last debt bills. As you go down the list when you get to level three or four, you’re dealing with child support of the deceased. And when you get all the way down to the bottom, you’re the unsecured credit cards. You start by paying off all the bills in level one. And if you run out of money in level three, you never get to level eight. If you get all the way to level eight and you’ve still got money left over, then you can send that out to the beneficiaries.